Nothing is more frustrating than a delayed and difficult returns process, as when making the decision to return an item, customers are looking to get their money back as quickly and easily as possible. Here are our top 5 tips for ensuring that you’re providing the smoothest and fastest returns process, to ensure a high quality experience for the customer.
1. Easy to find returns instructions
The first step of the return is processing the change itself. For example, if someone is looking to return a top they bought for £9.99 (clothing is the category which sees most returns) then they’ll be looking to find out exactly how to send the garment back and where they can do this. Retailers should provide clear instructions from the moment of purchase, as to what return options are available to the shopper— whether this is online, or on paper.
2. Simple returns options
Customers want a lot of options when it comes to returns, so they can find one which suits them. For example, they may want to return the top they purchased at a local post office, have it picked up from home, or a collection point near work. Whatever their choice is, it’s important to provide many easy options, so even the most tech-illiterate customers can make an easy return.
3. Option to exchange products
If the customer doesn’t want the money back for their £9.99 top, but instead wants to exchange it for a different size, or an item of the same value, then this is also a great way to retain revenue, but provide a different product instead. Sometimes customers prefer to exchange an item, so it’s vital that your returns portal offers this option too.
4. Communication between the customer and company
Once the return is dropped off, the customer will be looking for reassurance that they carried out the procedure correctly. Keeping in touch with your shopper through SMS and email is the most effective way to let them know that you’ve got the return and that the money is on its way back to them.
5. Instant refund
Now, the customer will be wondering where their £9.99 is, as they’re left feeling vulnerable with no garment, and no money. This is why it’s crucial to process that refund as soon as possible, to build trust and ease customer satisfaction. Retailers should be able to provide a refund to all payment methods within a few days of receiving the return, or as soon as it’s received if possible.
To conclude, these 5 tips will help any retailer optimize their returns process, and keep customers happy. Remember to communicate with your customer, offer them plenty of options, and keep the process as smooth as possible.
More insights on returns management can be found in our Ecommerce Returns Guide webinar, which you can watch here.
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